As an aspiring architect, Rosie Gotsch ’22 is tuned into global issues affecting the housing market. Inspired by her faculty mentor, she set out to investigate the role zoning regulations play in society and the climate crisis.
As a St. Lawrence research fellow, Rosie spent eight weeks this summer investigating intersections between affordable housing, zoning, and the climate crisis alongside Associate Professor of Education Jeff Frank. The Research Fellowship Program provides students with a stipend to complete a research project of their interest that culminates in a final research paper, collection of findings, digital media, exhibitions, performance, or other types of creative projects.
Rosie shared what it was like to examine current events and how her faculty mentor encourages her to follow her passions.
Note: Responses have been edited for length.
Rosie Gotsch ’22
Minor: Educational studies
Hometown: Beverly, Massachusetts
Project Title: “The Next Frontier: Thinking about the Intersections of Zoning, Affordable Housing, and the Climate Crisis”
How would you describe your research to someone who doesn’t know anything about the topic?
I argue that current zoning regulations that largely favor single-family homes make building affordable housing more difficult and are a major hurdle in responding to the climate crisis. These two seemingly unrelated issues are interrelated and can be addressed together by modifying our current zoning regulations to limit our greenhouse gas emissions and expand affordable housing.
What about this topic sparked your curiosity?
I wanted to combine my academic interests in environmental studies and sociology into one comprehensive research project that relates to my future career path of becoming an architect.
Was there a moment when you felt particularly challenged during your research process? How did you overcome it?
I have a wide breadth of interests and was having trouble narrowing down my specific argument until Professor Frank shared a recent New York Times podcast on zoning regulations that really piqued my interest and inspired me to look deeper into the issue.
What about your research makes you proudest?
I found it extremely rewarding to combine all of my interests, both academically and professionally, into one comprehensive project that showcases my ability to think critically and propose solutions to problems people are facing today.
What's the most rewarding aspect of working closely with a faculty member?
I could not have worked alongside a more perfect professor. Professor Frank is always ready to help, challenges me to look at my research in new ways every time we meet, and somehow always has the perfect article or podcast to share with me to develop my argument even further. St. Lawrence faculty are always ready to help, you just have to ask for it!
Finish this sentence: “Through my research, I hope to show others that…”
Not one discipline or profession can solve a problem on its own.